Wednesday’s Set Points, WTA Birmingham: Buzarnescu vs. Svitolina rematch set for the QFs

It was a much quieter day in Birmingham on Wednesday with the first quartet of second round matches. Thursday’s schedule looks great although i’m not sure I will get to watch much of it as it’s tennis night and probably my last one for a while with all the tennis festivities coming! This will likely be my last post before I head down to Eastbourne. Read on for six stories in Wednesday’s Set Points post.

Rybarikova d. Mladenovic (Birmingham, R2)

Magdalena Rybarikova is into her fourth quarter-final at Birmingham after a 3-6 6-2 6-1 victory over a fading, Kristina Mladenovic. I watched the first set during my lunch break. Mladenovic made the much more positive start as she looked to come forward and be aggressive. Rybarikova was just missing too many shots, particularly off return. Rybarikova was starting to come back into the match at the end of the set as she managed to come forward on a few occasions. Mladenovic just about got across the finish line, aided by her serve, as she converted on her seventh set point.

After I stopped watching, Rybarikova won 12 of the last 15 games! This is only Rybarikova’s second quarter-final of the year. We know what Magda can do on grass though…

While I was working…

Dalila Jakupovic made it back-to-back quarter-finals in Nottingham and Birmingham after Naomi Osaka was forced to retire after a set. It was an abdominal injury for Osaka, which she has had issues with before. Fingers crossed she will be OK for Wimbledon. She is on the entry list for Eastbourne next week.

Elina Svitolina saved all five break points faced in a 6-4 6-2 win over Alizé Cornet. This is just her second quarter-final appearance on grass having reached the QFs of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2014 where she lost out to Zheng Jie… blast from the past!

Buzarnescu d. Martic (Birmingham, R2)

Mihaela Buzarnescu continues to dazzle on the WTA tour as she came from a set and a break down to beat Petra Martic, 4-6 6-3 6-2. Settling down after an erratic opening set, Buzarnescu became increasingly accurate as Martic retreated behind the baseline. Buzarnescu absolutely battered Martic’s second serve in the decider and finished in top form.

Buzarnescu has been an absolute revelation this year and looks so confident right now. I just love, love, LOVE her forehand. It’s such a great shot. Buzarnescu has now made it back-to-back quarter-finals on the grass in Nottingham and Birmingham, and will face a French Open rematch against Elina Svitolina in the last eight. Fascinating.

I’m hoping to see Buzarnescu in Eastbourne as she’s the highest ranked player I have no photos of!

Halep out of Eastbourne

I was gutted to learn that Simona Halep has pulled out of Eastbourne with an achilles injury. Via Women’s Tennis Forums, Elena Vesnina is also out of Eastbourne and Wimbledon… interesting?

No news yet on the wild cards – i’m wondering whether Sloane or Madison may opt for one?

Wimbledon wild cards

The first batch of wild cards have been announced for Wimby. For the women, it’s mostly the brits with ITF Manchester champ, Ons Jabeur deservedly getting one too. There’s one left to be handed out. Jakupovic would definitely be deserving of a wild card after her recent runs in Nottingham and Birmingham. The other three names suggested which sound plausible are Sabine Lisicki, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Eugenie Bouchard.

Thursday’s schedule in Birmingham

The remaining quartet of second round matches will be played on Thursday – on paper, a much more inviting slate of matches compared to Wednesday. I’m most intrigued by Goerges vs. Barty. There will also be another grass court match-up between Muguruza and Strycova after Strycova won, 6-1 6-0 in their second round clash in Eastbourne last year.

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12 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Set Points, WTA Birmingham: Buzarnescu vs. Svitolina rematch set for the QFs

      • Agreed. I do hope Svitolina plays a cracker and gets revenge though. She definitely didn’t play a good match against Buz in Paris- her serve wasn’t working and she couldn’t find the court when trying to be aggressive.

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  1. Safarova def Azarenka —– and The Moo goes insane with joy.

    Strycova def Muguruza —- nearly 90% of the pole voters were wrong ( including me),

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    • Bara’s beaten Garbi on grass before (at Eastbourne), so it’s probably not that much of a surprise though it’s still an excellent result for her. Have to admit I didn’t think Lucie would beat Vika though, so well done Lucie!

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    • Bad fan as didn’t watch it because I was playing tennis. A little bit surprised! A great win for Lucie.

      I was on the fence with Strycova-Muguruza. Not really surprised as Strycova always does well in Brum and what happened in Eastbourne last year.

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    • Great to see Ana back on the grass. She posted a pic on Instagram from Eastbourne. I was trying to work out which court she was on, looks different!

      That’s the one match i’m sad to be missing today.

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  2. Birmingham
    Doc Buz def Svitolina 6-3,6-2
    On this day Doc Buz was simply the better player. There was several long hard hitting rallies, and Buz won most of them. One telling stat — 2nd serve points won — Buz 76%, Svit only 30%
    Kvitova def Goerges 6-1,6-4
    Kvitova dominated Goerges, but what I noticed was Kvitova’s footwork. Both her movement across the court and short steps to setup to hit the ball looked great.
    Rybarikova def Jakupovic 6-2,6-4
    Jak was an UFE machine hitting about 17 UFEs in the 1st set. She was trying to hit winners but couldn’t find the court. In the penultimate game, down 15-40 she changed to a more controlled game and saved 3 MPs and won the game. Jak had 2 BPs in the last game but lost. She should have used the more controlled game for the entire match.

    Eastbourne Qual
    Konjuh def Townsend 6-4, 6-7, 7-6
    A very long and hard match for Konjuh coming back from elbow surgery.

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